What is B2B Digital Marketing and B2C Digital Marketing? And what are the differences between the two? Perhaps a good place to start would be understanding the two types of business.
Understanding B2B and B2C Businesses
B – Business
2 – To
B – Business
Hence, B2B stands for Business to Business. It’s a form of business that has other businesses has its customers. B2B’s marketing pays attention to interests, needs, challenges of the organizations and businesses they target, and not individuals.
Here are some renowned B2B businesses and what they do:
This is one company that can easily be both B2B and B2C in that they provide services to businesses and individuals. They say they are on a mission to “…help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential”.
Slack’s collaboration hub is helping businesses work more efficiently. It serves as a communication channel between teams and also provides the opportunity to plan, execute and evaluate projects.
This is an email marketing solution. It allows businesses to build relationships with their target audience through emails.
Wework is a digital co-working solution. It has spaces in major cities where startups and freelancers can work.
This is a customer service solution. It provides solutions that enable businesses to promptly respond to customers and resolve issues in an uncomplicated way.
The only difference between the meaning of B2B and B2C is the last B and C. While the last B in B2B stands for Business, the C in B2C means Customer. Therefore, B2C stands for Business to Customers.
These businesses focus on the needs, wants, challenges and interests of people in their daily activities.
Here are some popular B2C companies and what they do
Popular makers of footwears, apparels and accessories. Their website description reads in part “…experiences and services to inspire athletes”.
An online marketplace that helps to “find home wherever you go”.
A coffee company and coffeehouse chain.
The 7 Things to Know about B2B Digital Marketing vs B2C Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing is fast taking over the entire field of Marketing. Every business, B2B or B2C, is fast leveraging the opportunities the digital world has made available.
There are different strategies and approach to digital marketing. However, here is a look at key differences between B2B digital marketing and B2C digital marketing.
The target audience for B2B is usually business owners or key decision-makers in organizations. This audience is usually dominated by sophisticated people who have a clear understanding of the product or service they want for their organization. They are interested in a specific offer with the aim of growing their business.
As a result, the digital marketer has the responsibility of defining how his product or service will help his audience save money, boost profit and remain competitive.
The content must, therefore, be well-researched and should be able to provide the audience with a reason to use the product as early as possible.
B2C audience, on the other hand, look for the best available price. Not necessarily the cheapest, but the best deal. Also, they are looking to get from the most trusted source.
B2C marketing strategies should, therefore, communicate the feeling of security and confidence to the buyer. The website content and design must reflect all of these. Security, brand loyalty and trust are quite important to the audience of B2B businesses.
Another key thing to note in B2B and B2C is the size of their respective markets. B2C has a larger market comprising of millions of individuals cutting across different works of life (depending on the type of product). This allows B2C businesses to be able to use as many digital mediums as they can lay their hands on.
B2B businesses, on the other hand, have a really small market. While B2C market can be in millions, B2Bs are usually just in thousands. This means that B2B digital marketing strategies should be appealing to their small market using the few mediums where they can be found.
A B2B business must understand how the different businesses in their target market work. Also, they should know who in the organizations will be looking at their marketing contents. The CEO, Managing Director, Head of Marketing or Human Resources? All of this information matter to B2B marketing.
Business owners in B2B are interested in expansion and growth of their businesses so they want contents that provide this assurance. A B2B digital marketer will get the attention of his target audience if he is able to communicate that his product will contribute to their business growth and development.
This would require preparing a marketing material that highlights how the product can save the money, resources and time of the target customer. In other words, a B2B marketer should be able to provide the relevant content that businesses are looking for to grow their business, and then link it with the product being offered.
B2C businesses, on the other hand, have the opportunity to take the entertainment route. B2C customers are turned off by contents that are too promotional. Rather, they are looking for contents that are genuinely emotional, exciting and funny.
The marketers of B2C businesses must, therefore, utilize the various digital channels at their disposal (especially social media and email) to communicate personalized and lively contents. Being a faceless business entity constantly trying to sell works for B2B but would be disastrous for a B2C business.
B2C companies tend to use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to reach their extremely wide audience while B2B mostly use LinkedIn for their targeted marketing.
In other words, B2C businesses are able to use trendy and newer social media channels including TikTok, Snapchat and a host of others since their audience use all these tools. But for B2B businesses, they turn to LinkedIn which enables them to establish a network with active connections.
This does not mean B2B businesses don’t use Facebook, Twitter and the rest at all. As a matter of fact, they should. The point here, however, is that those trendy social media channels can’t be their focus. This is because their audience, though they use these platforms, won’t be looking for them there.
Branding is an integral part of marketing. More often in B2B than in B2C, relationship building is used as a branding strategy. B2B International pointed out that “branding begins with the consistency of the presentation and deliverance of your products and services”.
B2B search marketing involves the ability of the business to position in the market and create a personality that shines. This ultimately drives lead generation and brand recognition.
On relationship building, B2B businesses should have a keen vision for target personalities in the market.
In B2C, branding helps to build loyalty, credibility, connect emotionally with customers and motivate them to buy. It is an important part of B2C digital marketing.
The relationship between the customer and a B2C business is minimally interactive and so the business should create a quality experience and lasting memory for the customers to keep them coming back.
This can be achieved through clearly delivered messages and the creation of inspiring copies that the customers can relate to.
Process of Decision-making
The decision to patronize a business, B2B or B2C, often takes time. The time can be longer in B2B than in B2C. This period of time is an opportunity for businesses to appeal to both the rational and emotional sense of their audience.
The rational sense being providing answers to concerns such as what is the ROI of this investment? How will it boost our profit margin?
Businesses and organizations also have emotional concerns. Sometimes they want to know the implication of a product or service on their workforce. They have questions like Will this affect any employee’s job? All of these are to be considered and addressed during the decision making process.
In B2B, this process usually involves open communication between both parties. B2B businesses can as well compare their products or services with that of their competitors to convince their prospective customer.
For B2C on the other hand, the major focus is the simplification of the process. This is the point where marketers have to consult the conversion funnel with the aim to get the maximum conversion rate.
The journey begins for the customer at the top of the funnel with an influential advertisement created to show the customer the need for a product. The journey eventually ends on the checkout page where the purchase is made. This whole process can happen within a few minutes, hours, days, weeks and even months.
B2C digital marketing strategy should include creating search engine optimized blog contents on products and services. This is because potential buyers will do their findings on search engine and try to compare to competitors. When a B2C company has contents that rank high on the search engine for what their audience is enquiring on, they increase the chance of converting such a customer.
B2B businesses are more likely going to prefer patronizing experts who understand their industry jargons and processes. This means speaking the language of the target audience is crucial in B2B digital marketing.
For B2C digital marketing, however, it’s about emotion. The marketer must be able to use a relatable voice that would urge the customer to click. Copywriting in B2C should, therefore, evoke emotions rather than focusing on jargons.
Having an understanding of the kind of business (B2B or B2C) is crucial to the success of a marketing campaign. This would help to ensure that the right strategies are put in place to get the best result. The above-listed factors that distinguish B2B from B2C digital marketing should help marketers understand where their business fall and how to create the most effective marketing strategy for their audience.